Some of your most valuable meetings are are the ones you are incharge. And if you are a leader, you have an opportunity to make a better use of your time and others by tweaking the routine. Below are nine basic rules for running an effective meeting.

  1. Have an effective Invitation process

For successful meetings, you might have to be assertive about sending invitations and reminding participants of the details. Even if it’s a regular meeting and every participant know the drill, place, date and time of the meeting, you should routinely send at least a least minute reminder either via email or text messaging.

  1. Know the purpose

Before you send out invitations, declare about your goals for calling the meeting. Be flexible about cancelling a meeting when no business is pressing or no work to be accomplished because, holding a pointless meeting may have a tough time attracting participants when you really need it.

  1. Create an Agenda

A written list of discussion items helps to shape participant’s expectation and keep the meeting on target. It’s true even when the gathering consist of just two or three members talking through their issues over coffee. It’s always proper to ask for attendees for discussion items and distribute the agenda of the meeting in advance.

  1. Set the Tone

You must treat all participants with courtesy, give speakers your full attention and don’t work on other projects during the meeting. If you have an trouble staying focus, try taking note of the discussion and always show respect for attendees by making sure you meetings always start and end on schedule.

  1. Keep Track

Every meeting should have someone designated to keep the record, at least of key conclusion and assignments. These may be as simple as your rough notes – the ones that you use when you summarize the meeting in your closing remarks.

  1. Warm it Up!

There is always a legitimate social component to many meetings and you may make progress if all the participants feel engaged and comfortable about offering comments. You may address some social needs and establish a cordial mode for the event by devoting the first five or ten minutes to warm up face in which everyone is invited to offer information, suggestions or concerns.

  1. Build a Structure

Even informal meeting should feel intentional. Because as leader, plan to include in each meeting: an opening; in which you may state the desired outcome. A middle in which agenda items are discussed with each one being move forward with at least a baby step. A closing that should sum up the conclusions, action items and assignments and perhaps mention next step of future events and finally, a closing remarks to thank attendees for attendance and contributions.

  1. Establish ground rules

Regular meetings will flow more smoothly if everybody understands the etiquette. You must the rules to build the consensus in matters such as: attendance, arrival time, participation discussions, use of cell phones and other devices, and confidentiality.

  1. Follow up

After every meeting, ensure that both the participants and invitees who were absent are not sent a copy of the note. Consider touching base with participants which left with assignments, checking if they have everything they need and are moving forward on their task. Because, if nothing seems to come off your meetings, people will lose interest and stop coming for your meetings.

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